In both letter and spirit, India is a pluralistic society. Its unity and diversity accurately describe it. What does diversity mean? what are the factors promoting unity in India’s Diversity? What are the factors that undermine India’s unity? Scroll down the page to know about the Diversity of India.
Despite numerous foreign invasions, a vast synthesis of the cultures, faiths, and languages of the people from all castes and communities has maintained its cohesion and unity.
Even if stark economic and social disparities have prevented the formation of egalitarian social relations, national unity and integrity have been preserved. This fusion has transformed India into a singular mosque of cultures. India thus presents a situation that appears to be multicultural within the context of a single, cohesive cultural whole.
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What does diversity mean?
The word “diversity” places more emphasis on differences than on unfairness. It refers to group disparities, or distinctions separating one group of individuals from another. These differences could be biological, religious, linguistic, or anything else. Diversity refers to the variety of races, religions, languages, castes, and cultures.
Integrity refers to unity. It is a state of social psychology. It suggests a sense of unity and togetherness. It represents the ties that keep a society’s members together. Essentially, “unity in diversity” means “diversity without fragmentation” and “unity without uniformity.” It is predicated on the idea that diversity enhances interpersonal communication.
When we refer to India as a country with rich cultural diversity, we are referring to the wide variety of social groupings and cultures that call India home. These groups identify primarily through cultural traits like language, religion, sect, race, or caste.
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Forms of India’s Diversity
The different forms of India’s diversity include the following.
India is a country that is home to many different religions. The Indian population is made up of Hindus (82.41%), Muslims (11.6%), Christians (2.32%), Sikhs (1.99%), Buddhists (0.77%), and Jains (0.41%), in addition to the tribal societies, many of which continue to practice animism and magic. Hindus are divided into a number of sects, including Vaishnavas, Shaivites, Shaktas, and Smartas. Similarly, there are various Muslim sects, including Shi’ites, Sunnis, Ahmadis, etc.
The major language families among which the languages spoken in India are the Dravidian languages, which are spoken by 20% of Indians, and the Indo-Aryan languages, which are spoken by 75% of Indians. The Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, and a few other minor language families and isolates are home to other languages. After Papua New Guinea, India has the second-highest number of languages in the world. India’s ethnic variety was divided into the following groups according to the 1931 census: Negrito, Proto-Australoid, Mongoloid, Mediterranean, Western Brachycephals, and Nordic.
The Caste Diversity
The Caste Diversity includes members of all three major world races, namely Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid: India is a nation with Both varna and jati have been referred to as “caste” in the past. According to functional differentiation, society is divided into four groups called Varna. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, and an outcaste.
While the term “Jati” designates a hereditary endogamous status group engaged in a certain traditional profession. There are more than 3000 jatis, and there isn’t a single system for classifying and ranking them across all of India. The jati system is dynamic and allows for movement, which has allowed jatis to vary their location throughout time. M. N. Srinivas referred to this method of upward mobility as “Sanskritization.”
Ethnic diversity Regional differences are reflected in cultural patterns. Due to demographic diversity, Indian culture is extremely diverse and is a fusion of many other cultures. Every region, caste, and religion has its unique tradition and culture. As a result, there are variations in music, dance, theatre, and architecture.
With a total land area of 3.28 million square kilometres, India is a big nation with a wide variety of natural landscapes, including dry deserts, evergreen forests, steep mountains, perennial and non-perennial river systems, lengthy coasts, and fertile plains.
In addition to the major forms of variety already mentioned, India also has diversity in many other areas, such as tribal, rural, and urban patterns of habitation, patterns of marriage and kinship along religious and regional lines, and more.
Also, Read: Salient features of Indian Society – ClearIAS
Factors Promoting Unity in India’s Diversity
- Constitutional identity: A single person is elected to lead the entire nation. Even Nevertheless, the majority of states adhere to a standard 3-tier structure of government, bringing
- Furthermore, regardless of their age, gender, class, caste, or religion, all citizens are guaranteed certain fundamental rights under the Constitution.
- Religion tolerance is the distinctive characteristic of faiths in India, and as a result, many different religions coexist there. The Constitution itself guarantees the freedom of religion and practice. Additionally, the state accords equal preference to all religions and has no official state religion.
- Interstate movement: Article 19 (1) (d) of the Constitution ensures freedom of movement throughout India’s territory, fostering a sense of brotherhood and solidarity among the people.
- Other elements that contribute to consistency in the criminal justice system and policy implementation include the uniformity of the law, penal code, and administrative tasks (such as All India Services).
- Economic integration: The Goods and Service Tax (GST) has paved the way for “one country, one tax, one national market,” thereby facilitating unity among different regions. The Indian Constitution also guarantees the freedom of trade, commerce, and intercourse within the territory of India under Article.
- Institution of pilgrimage and religious practises: Spirituality and religion are very important in India. Religious sites and sacred rivers can be found all over the length and breadth of the country, from Badrinath and Kedarnath in the north to Rameshwaram in the south, Jagannath Puri in the east and Dwaraka in the west. They are closely tied to the long-standing tradition of pilgrimage, which has always drawn people to different regions of the nation and given them a feeling of geo-cultural identity.
- Fairs and festivals: These serve as integrating factors as well because people from all across the nation participate in them. Hindus around the nation celebrate Diwali, just as Muslims and Christians celebrate Id and Christmas, respectively. In India, interreligious celebrations are also observed.
- Weather integration via the monsoon: The monsoon season affects the entire Indian subcontinent’s flora and fauna, agricultural activities, and way of life, including holidays. Sports and cinema are widely popular throughout the nation, serving as unifying forces. Factors that undermine India’s unity include:
- Regionalism: Regionalism favours the interests of a certain region or region over those of the nation. It may also have a negative effect on national integration. Regional demands and the resulting law and order situation
- Polarising politics: Politicians would occasionally invoke ascriptive identities like caste, religion, etc. to gain support. Violence, feelings of mistrust, and suspicion among minorities can emerge from this kind of polarising politics.
- Unbalanced development Backwardness of a region can be brought on by uneven socioeconomic growth, poor economic policies, and the resulting economic inequities. As a result, this may spark acts of violence, ignite migrant waves, or even fuel separatist demands. For instance, numerous examples of secessionist demands and tendencies have emerged as a result of the North East’s economic underdevelopment.
- Ethnic diversity and nativism: Ethnic diversity has frequently resulted in conflicts between various ethnic groups, particularly as a result of reasons like employment competition, a lack of resources, and threats to identity For instance, Bodos and Muslims who speak Bengali frequently fight in Assam. The son of the soil idea, which links people to their place of birth and bestows upon them certain advantages, privileges, duties, and obligations that may not be applicable to others, has served to emphasise this.
- Geographic isolation: Isolation can also result in separatist thinking and identity problems. Geographically, the North-East is separated from the rest of the nation by a small passageway called the Siliguri corridor, sometimes known as the “Chicken’s Neck.”The area is less developed economically than the rest of the nation and has poor infrastructure. As a result, it has seen a number of incidents of separatist and cross-border terrorism.
- Inter-religious disputes: Inter-religious disputes not only deteriorate relations between two communities by sowing distrust and fear, but they also damage the nation’s secular fabric.
- Conflicts between states: This may cause feelings of regionalism to grow. Additionally, it may have an impact on interstate commerce and communication. For instance, the Karnataka-Tamil Cauvery River dispute
- External influences: External influences, such as foreign organisations, terrorist organisations, and extremist groups, can occasionally inspire violence and foster feelings of secession. g. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is alleged to have supported and trained mujahideen to fight in Jammu and Kashmir and incite separatist sentiment among local groupings.
Despite the difficulties diversity might provide, there is no denying the vital role sociocultural diversity has played in maintaining and advancing Indian culture.
The handling of diversity in Indian society, not diversity itself, is the issue. Because the benefits of growth haven’t been divided fairly or certain groups’ cultures haven’t received the acknowledgment they deserve, problems like regionalism, communalism, and ethnic conflicts have emerged.
Therefore, the Constitution and its ideas must serve as the foundation of our society. Any culture that has attempted to homogenise itself has experienced eventual stagnation and decline. The most notable instance in this situation is Pakistan’s attempt to force its culture on East Pakistan, ultimately leading to Bangladesh’s establishment.
Article Written By :Atheena Fathima Riyas